A War in Words: James Joyce’s Last Comedy (Finnegans Wake)

Benjamin Jon Boysen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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From all accounts, Joyce is said to have claimed that World War II need
never have happened if Europeans had read his last book, Finnegans Wake. Whether
that is true or not, the book is intensely anti-authoritarian and anti-Fascist – not
only in content, but also in its performative language. The rampant laughter heard
and experienced throughout the text performs an effective deconstruction of any
political, religious, moral, or philosophical ideology that explicitly or implicitly
lays obstacles in the way of man’s birthright to freedom. The humour of Joyce’s
poetic language entails an unmasking of unuttered premises of ideologies as well
as a recognition of man’s radical eccentricity and interdependence with the other.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Many Languages of Comparative Literature : Collected Papers of the 21st Congress of the ICLA
EditorsGianna Zocco
Volume4: The Rhetoric of Topics and Forms
Place of PublicationBerlin/Boston
PublisherDe Gruyter
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-064148-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-064203-2, 978-3-11-064198-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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